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£0                                      VERDICT  ON  IXDIA
have drawn attention to a very deep fissure in India's political
pattern, the fact that Young India wants to march to the factory
while the Leader insists on dragging them to church.
But how many of these young agnostics are there in the sub-
continent ? 340 million Indians are illiterate,, and can therefore
be discounted. Of the tiny proportion of the literate it is safe to
suggest that only those who live in the big cities, in constant
contact with Western influences, have thrown off the faith of their
fathers. At the most generous estimate this gives us only a very
few thousand who can claim to be iconoclasts in, any sense in,
which we understand the word. The rest—the "teeming millions*
—remain bowed at the feet of the idols.
Let India speak for herself. Here is the diagnosis of one of her
most distinguished scholars. Professor D. P. Mukerji, of Lucknow
'Examinees begin their answers, clerks and shop-keepers begin their
reorfc, with an invocation to their favourite deities at the top of their
books* A good division at the examination, a rapid promotion in
service, and a smart deal in the Bazaar or the Stock Exchange can all
be secured by God's grace administered through a religious preceptor. ~*
No leader so openly waits for divine inspiration as Mr. Gandhi, nor
is so admired for it, none so constantly mixes politics with religion
even in his most millennial moments.. .No social scientist in India
has got a chance against the scientists of transcendental knowledge,
no non-theological school of metaphysics ever had or ever can have any
considerable prestige. *
This is a very old subject but it is also a very new one. Of the
hundreds of writers who have called attention to India's "religio-
sity* I do not recall a single one who has faced up to its implica-
tions in the modern world—who has shown how, in this year
1944, religious fanaticism is sweeping its way into the surgeries,
turning the handles of the movie cameras, directing the wheels of
industry. Hinduism in its most extreme and aggressive form is
a living and turbulent force. Its voice rises above the roar of the
factories and the workshops, it dominates the assemblies of
politicians and students.                                                            ,